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IFC Helps Companies in Azerbaijan Assess Corporate Governance Practices to Improve Performance

Baku, Azerbaijan, October 8, 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Economic Development are helping companies to assess their corporate governance practices through the introduction of the Corporate Governance Scorecard, which allows Azerbaijani companies to improve these practices in ways that strengthen their performance and competitiveness.
IFC and the ministry officially launched the scorecard today. The scorecard assigns different scores to companies and their governance practices to assess the quality of governance and to identify areas that need improvement. This makes the scorecard a source of useful information for boards, investors, financial analysts, and regulators.
“The evaluation of companies' corporate governance frameworks will create the basis for the implementation of good corporate governance practices, better division of responsibilities between governing bodies, and increased transparency and disclosure,” said Anar Hacizada, Head of the Corporate Governance Division at the Ministry of Economic Development. “This will help companies build trust and their reputation while attracting capital, investment, and business partners.”
Christian Strenger, Deputy Chairman of the IFC Global Corporate Governance Forum Private Sector Advisory Group, Director of DWS Investment, and a member of the German Corporate Governance Commission, said, “Adoption of the Corporate Governance Scorecard is a milestone event as it provides Azerbaijani companies and their stakeholders with a decisive tool to develop corporate governance improvement plans. This initiative will find excellent recognition in the international markets, which acknowledge progress in corporate governance as a prerequisite for good governance systems."
Azerbaijan became a member of IFC in 1995. Since then IFC has invested approximately $364 million in Azerbaijan to support more than 60 private sector projects in the financial services, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors. IFC also implements advisory programs to improve the business climate, strengthen financial markets, and increase resource efficiency.
The IFC Corporate Governance Program in Europe and Central Asia is supported principally by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), providing the majority of the funds, with further support from Development Bank of Austria (OeEB).  
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit .
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